GREAT Britain and Ireland captain Albert MacKenzie is thrilled with the make-up of his PGA Cup side that will take on their American counterparts at the Foxhills Resort in Surrey in September 15-17. The ten-man team for the biennial match was finalised this week.
The Great Britain and Ireland captain is counting down the days until his side take on the USA at the Surrey-based venue in September.
Greig Hutcheon, Matthew Cort and Robert Coles had already booked their places in the team after finishing in the top three at the PGA Play-Offs back in October last year.
Following on from the conclusion of the PGA Professional Championship they have now been joined by Christopher Currie, Phillip Archer, Christopher McDonnell, Garry Houston, Andrew Raitt, David Higgins and Damien McGrane.
“I feel that we are formidable and robust,” said MacKenzie, who will be assisted in Surrey by vice-captains Martyn Thompson and Cameron Clark.
“I could not be more pleased with the ten players that have made the PGA Cup team this year. We have a team of strength, a team of experience and we’re going to be seriously competitive in September.”
Phillip Archer is a Former European Tour player who will bring vital experience to MacKenzie’s team. The 45-year-old finished runner-up four times on the European Tour and has played at both the US Open and the Open Championship.
Robert Coles has finished inside the top 100 Order of Merit on the European Tour on three occasions and the 44-year-old has tasted success three times on the Challenge Tour. More recently, Coles finished runner-up at the PGA Play-Offs back in October at Saunton.
Matthew Cort, 42, played on the European Tour for four successive years between 2002 and 2005. His best finish on the Tour came in 2002 when he was tied for sixth place in the Scandinavian Masters.
Christopher Currie is the youngest member of the GB & Ireland team at 34 years of age and he will head into PGA Cup high in confidence having finished runner-up in the PGA Professional Championships.
David Higgins, 44, was Ireland’s leading amateur player before turning professional in 1994. He has played on the European Tour on three separate seasons and enjoyed success on the Challenge Tour where he won three events. He was the winner of the PGA Professional Championship last year.
Garry Houston has experienced two seasons on the European Tour and the 46-year-old arguably enjoyed his best season as a pro 11 years ago in 2006 when he ended 74th in the Order of Merit.
Greig Hutcheon, 44, brings a wealth of experience to the GB & Ireland team having been a member of the European Tour on six occasions and he was also a member of the GB & Ireland PGA Cup team back in 2013.
The Scotsman has won the PGA Play-Offs on two occasions and is also a two-time winner of the Scottish PGA Championship.
Christopher McDonnell, 35, is a previous Challenge Tour winner and in 2014 he won the PGA Professional Championship at Blairgowrie.
Damien McGrane won his maiden European Tour title in 2008 and one year later the 46-year-old finished 41st in the Race to Dubai. Since retiring from the tour in 2015, McGrane has had plenty of success on the Irish PGA Regional tour and last year he won the Irish PGA Championship. He also has experience of the PGA Cup having represented GB & Ireland in the competition back in 2000.
Andrew Raitt enjoyed a four-year scholarship in the USA where he studied in both Florida and Las Vegas before turning professional. The 47-year-old played on the European Tour for seven years and his best finish came in the Dutch Open where he finished fourth.
GB & Ireland:
- Captain: Albert MacKenzie
- Vice Captains: Martyn Thompson and Cameron Clark
- Team: Phillip Archer, Robert Coles, Matthew Cort, Christopher Currie, David Higgins, Garry Houston, Greig Hutcheon, Christopher McDonnell, Damien McGrane and Andrew Raitt
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Foxhills Resort http://www.foxhills.co.uk/